Today, Morgan from The Mayberry Mama is here to share with you why it’s okay to stay in your mom comfort zone. She’s going to talk to you about how anxiety can affect motherhood and some great ways to manage it!
Why It’s Okay to Stay in Your Mom Comfort Zone
By Morgan Post
You often hear that you should step outside of your comfort zone, and while I understand that sentiment when it comes to trying a new food or making friends or starting a blog, I’m recommending the opposite. If you struggle with anxiety define your mom comfort zone, set your boundaries, and stick to them.
My experience with anxiety
I have dealt with anxiety for most of my life. More accurately, I’ve had anxiety for most of my life but have only dealt with it for the last 10 years. While I continue to navigate it, especially as a mom, defining my “mom comfort zone,” and trying to stick to it has changed my game.
To be clear, I don’t completely limit myself or my family and I test the waters and venture out of my safe zone occasionally, but I also know myself and what I can handle.
An outing or activity is not going to be fun for anyone if I am overwhelmed by anxiety the entire time.
Here’s a real-life example
I will absolutely not bring my kids to the pool by myself. I just won’t do it. To be perfectly honest, because that’s what I’m here for, the stress starts setting in just trying to get our pool bag packed, get my three kids swim-suited and sunscreened and get the car loaded up. Then, once we arrive and one of them steps out of my line of sight, I start to get itchy. My heart starts racing as soon as the puddle jumpers hit the water.
Inevitably, there’s yelling, tears are shed by all four of us, and everyone leaves feeling flustered and frustrated. Not fun for anyone.
Don’t be ashamed of it!
A year ago, I would have been ashamed to admit that to anyone – I felt like a failure. I was overwhelmed with guilt because my anxiety made my kids miss out. It felt like I was never going to be a fun mom or as good as the moms that I see out and about with their kids, like the moms at the pool that are calm and collected. I compared myself to them without knowing their stories and it stole my joy.
Let it motivate you!
You know what does fall within my mom comfort zone? Playing in the water in our backyard. And my kids really love it because the popsicles are plentiful and Mommy keeps her cool.
So, when I pause, regroup, and offer myself the kind of grace I’d give a friend, I know in my heart that I am a good mom.
My kids don’t feel like they’re missing out. They just want to do fun stuff with Mama, especially when she’s not stressed to the point of tears. I know they love me no matter what, but I also know that I’m easier to love when I’m coping with my anxiety.
And for the record, we still go to the pool – we just go when Daddy can go with us.
If you’re easily overwhelmed on adventures without another adult riding shotgun, you’re not alone.
Define your Mom Comfort Zone
First, take some time to define your “mom comfort zone.” Set your boundaries – make a list of activities that you’re comfortable tackling with your little ones without backup.
Be honest with your kiddos
Be honest with your kiddos and help them understand what outings aren’t really possibilities when mom is flying solo. I tell my kids things like “oh, that sounds like fun! We need Daddy for that adventure. Let’s do that when he gets home,” or “I would love to go to the pool. Maybe we can see if Mimi can go with us on Monday!”
Kids learn so quickly and I truly think they have more empathy and understanding than we often expect. My littles (ages 2 and 4) know what I will say yes to, and what will usually be a “not today,” and they typically don’t request things that they know will be no-goes.
Know that you are a good mom!
If you are a mama who takes on every adventure with your kids without extra hands, you’re awesome! On the other hand, if you’re like me and you get overwhelmed wrangling your kids in certain situations without the help of another adult – you’re still a great mom! If you’re somewhere in between, you rock too!
Do the best you can with what you have available to you. Define your mom comfort zone. Respect your own boundaries. Know what works for you and your family and don’t ever feel inadequate for sticking to it.
What do you think?
What kind of activities are within your mom comfort zone? Are there certain activities that are absolute no-goes for you? If you struggle with anxiety, do you have any game changing coping strategies?
Meet the Author:
Morgan, creator of The Mayberry Mama, is an almost 30 year old wife and mama trying to raise babies with big worldviews, even in the confines of a small town. She is a marketer by trade and a storyteller by nature working to create a digital space for other moms like her (and unlike her!) to tell stories, build relationships and cultivate community.